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Big Sky cancels 2020 football season, other sports amid COVID-19 concerns

The Big Sky conference announced on Thursday morning that it will not allow football teams to play non-conference games this fall.
Credit: Big Sky

MOSCOW, Idaho — The University of Idaho held out hope for a week that they could play up to three games in a non-conference football season this fall. On Thursday, the Big Sky nixed those plans.

The conference announced that day that no fall sports will compete this fall, including football in any non-conference games. All fall sports have been moved to spring of 2021.

This decision obviously impacts football, but it also impacts volleyball, cross country and soccer. The conference will also not let golf, softball, and tennis compete this fall. Those sports traditionally play competitions in the fall, although their championship seasons are in the spring.

“While I am confident that our conference is making the right decision for the health and safety of our student-athletes, it breaks my heart knowing how disappointing this will be to all of them who were eagerly anticipating the opportunity to compete this fall,” Commissioner Tom Wistrcill said. 

"Our efforts in the conference office now will focus on doing everything within our power to make their spring season the best that it possibly can be, which includes advocating for their NCAA championships to be held then," he continued. "As campuses begin re-opening this fall, we hope that everyone remains safe and healthy while we continue to learn more about how best to manage this fluid situation and its impact on higher education.”

The Big Sky says institutions may continue with permissible athletics activities at their discretion while abiding by NCAA legislation, campus policies, and local and state regulations. The conference says they will make decisions regarding winter sports, which includes basketball, at a later date.